The vegan diet has been around for a long time and it continues to gain new supporters, many who are against eating any animal products. The number of people who consider themselves vegan is about 2 percent of the population of the U.S., while 5 percent consider themselves vegetarians.
There are many well-known vegans including former President Bill Clinton, former vice president Al Gore, and countless celebrities.
While this diet continues to attract celebrities and health-conscious people, some modifications have been made in what the vegan diet keys on. In the past the diet focused on very low fat meals, this has changed because of recent studies that have shown that healthy fats are more important than previously thought.
In some research projects, it was shown that people who ate a moderate amount of healthy fats fared better in blood tests than people who were on a low fat diet. Cholesterol levels were better with the people who added fats to their diet, and their LDL (bad cholesterol) levels were lower than with people on the low fat diet.
The fats that make a positive difference are monounsaturated fats from nuts, avocados, and olives, along with saturated fats from coconut oil. Scientists and nutritionists state that the body needs fats to function properly and an extremely low fat diet can cause health problems.
Another problem that many vegans have dealt with is not consuming enough protein. Along with being the building blocks of the body, protein also helps keep blood glucose levels lower and keeps the body working more efficiently.
Many long time vegans had to adjust their diets when they developed health issues from not getting enough fats and protein in their diet. Adding more fats and protein helped increase fitness levels.
One of the diets that some vegans have switched over to is the hugely popular Paleo diet, which promotes the eating of meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and fruit, but avoiding most carbohydrates, especially grains.
One common complaint of former vegans was that they did not feel healthy and had many issues like dry skin, low energy, and immune disorders, and depression. Many former vegans said once they added more fats and meat to their diet their condition improved dramatically.
This does not mean people have to abandon a vegan diet, but instead they need to make sure they are getting enough healthy fats and protein to keep their body functioning optimally.